Saddle suggestions-women

Okay ladies, as training has begun, I would like suggestions as to preferred saddles (easy on soft tissues) for road bikes. This would be my first ragbrai and I’m concerned about handling the distance as comfortably as possible. I’m not sure I can handle a saddle with a center split…… any help is greatly appreciated!I am going from a hybrid to a road bike….

21 Replies

GeorgeKline, April 1, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Not A lady, but the saddles I hear most about from female riders are Terry, not sure of models preferred and Brooks Cadium. theses are the 2 brands that come up a lot in our discussions.

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jwsknk, April 1, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Some bike shops will do fittings. Everybody’s “sit bones” are different so you might need to try out a few to find the right fit

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T. Gap Woo, April 1, 2019 at 9:31 pm

jwsknk is correct. Take your bike to the LBS and ask them to swap out your saddle so you can test-ride them. Ride as long as they let you and try several until you find one that works for you.

I did this when I bought my Trek 7300. The stock saddle was too narrow and very painful. After trying several and test-riding them, I settled on one that was wide and long enough. Several years ago, I installed a padded, waterproof saddle cover. It worked fine, but as I lost weight, I lost some of the extra “padding.” To solve this issue, I stuffed a 1” thick piece of upholstery foam under the cover. So far, so good!

FWIW, I stopped at a John Deere dealer in LeMars a few years ago and asked if they had a commercial-grade padded tractor/lawn mower seat that would fit a bicycle. The salesman said that it was a good idea that he would pass on to his district rep, but they didn’t have one yet. They still don’t have one.

We’ll probably see such a seat when pigs fly!! Hope springs eternal, though.

Good luck in your search for comfort. See you along the I-O-Way in July.

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Jay Ironside, April 2, 2019 at 7:24 am

After years cycling with my wife and her discomfort in the saddle on long rides I found bike saddles made by John Cobb, now at speedandcomfort.com. They are anatomically made and after a few question on the seat selector the right saddle for your lower anatomy and type of riding they will give you a couple choices of saddles that should work out for you. I did this for my wife, then for me on the men’s selector. She has been happy with her saddle throughout Ragbrai and multiple bike touring trips. Th

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Jay Ironside, April 2, 2019 at 7:27 am

To continue, these are not inexpensive. You will pay upwards of $200 but we found that they are worth every dollar. I agree with getting a proper bike fit as stated above. Good luck.

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Barry Schnoor, April 2, 2019 at 7:37 am

Don’t forget the right clothing. Good padded shorts (or briefs) are also important, and make a big difference on the long rides. Don’t forget the Butt Butter…you’ll just feel better at the end of the day.

T.Gap, fellow Team Placid rider and I got 40 miles on the C&O this weekend. Beautiful day for it. A little bumpy with tree roots and wash-outs, but a good ride, nonetheless.

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Lynn Sesker, April 2, 2019 at 1:33 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to respond!!!! I’m so excited for RAGBRAI and truly will work on finding the right saddle ‘fit’ for me!!!! See you all in July!

This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by  Lynn Sesker.

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Candice Lynes, April 2, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Last year was our first RAGBRAI. My husband has a Brooks (well broken in) with no padded shorts at all, and I used padded shorts. I think our preference would definitely be the Brooks saddle. I was quite sore throughout the week, but it wasn’t too unbearable. Once you break it in, it’s basically custom formed to your butt. And it’s about $100, where bike shorts are about $50 each.

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ESchiers, April 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm

The saddle doesn’t fit?
Good reason to buy a new bike! 😉
N+1

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KenH, April 2, 2019 at 2:59 pm

I’m not a woman and although my wife is, she considers five miles to be a long bike ride so no help there either. According to Google the question “best bicycle saddles for women” includes the following in addition to hits on manufacturer’s web pages which I assume will uniformly claim that their’s are the best! Perhaps you will find these helpful:

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/group-tests/the-best-womens-bike-saddles-163399

https://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/207800-9-best-womens-saddles-how-choose-right-one-you

https://www.femmecyclist.com/road-bike-saddles-ladies/

The only other thing I can say is that most good bike shops can measure your sit bone width and that is good information to have when choosing a saddle. That has been the experience of my male posterior anyway!

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Laura Palmer, April 2, 2019 at 3:41 pm

I use the Terry Liberator X. Have it on 2 bikes and wont ride with anything else. Had to stop mid ride because my soft tissue was going numb. Went to the closest shop and they hooked me up. Love it!

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Larry Klaaren, April 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm

I haven’t tried it yet, but I heard a rumor from a usually reliable source that the Bag Balm product at Wal Mart is very helpful and a lot cheaper than Chamois Butter. It probably does not come in a tube that will fit in your cycling jersey pocket or bike bag, but I haven’t looked yet. Lots of chance to try it before the ride.

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Charlie S, April 2, 2019 at 8:17 pm

I’m convinced that the most comfortable saddles for either sex are leather suspension type. I use a Selle Anatomica X and find it to be by far the most comfortable out of the many I’ve had over over the years. Second would be Brooks. Brooks also offers a non-leather alternative, the Cambium, that is pretty comfy but not quite at the Selle Anatomica X level.

While Selle Anatomica also makes women’s saddles, Rivet may be a better choice. The design and construction are very similar – not surprising given that Rivet was started by the former partner (♀) of the founder of Selle Anatomica.

If cost is no barrier, you could consider Bethoud. No personal experience with them but they get raves from riders.

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Steve, April 2, 2019 at 8:21 pm

My wife has ridden the Terry Butterfly model for several years on two different bikes with great success, she also is a big fan of the Terry cycling shorts. One good thing with Terry is that they have a 30 day guarantee which allows you to ride it and then return it for exchange or refund. We are not affiliated with Terry, just satisfied customers.

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Khaled AlShebel, April 3, 2019 at 3:39 am

I’m not a lady, but I’ve bought a Brooks saddle (B 17) three years ago. I found it comfortable.

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